Sergei Samsonov is a professional ice hockey forward in the NHL, playing for the Edmonton Oilers. He is a small player by NHL standards at 5 ft 8 in (1.73 m) and 194 lb (88 kg), but he is nonetheless effective with highly above-average stickhandling and skating skills.
Samsonov was drafted by the Boston Bruins eighth overall in the 1997 NHL Entry Draft. Boston drafted Joe Thornton first overall in the same draft.
In his rookie year, Sergei won the Calder Memorial Trophy as the league's best rookie after scoring 22 goals and a total of 47 points. In the 2000-2001 season, he played in his only NHL All Star Game in Denver.
Before playing in the NHL, Sergei represented Russia in 1996 and 1997 at the World Junior Hockey Championships. He led the 1997 Russian team to a bronze medal and was named the tournament's most outstanding forward after scoring six goals in six games. He later played for Russia in 2002 at the Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City, earning a bronze medal.
In his early career, Samsonov was a highly-touted prospect cited as the next future star of international hockey as he wowed fans and scouts alike with his shifty turns and scoring prowess. Samsonov scored 110 goals in 50 games with the Red Army junior team in 1994-95. This was prior to moving up to the Elite team later that season. He had 23 goals, 19 assists for a total of 42 points with 26 PIM in 64 career games with the Red Army elite team. In 1996-97, he played for the Detroit Vipers of the now-defunct International Hockey League, and won the Garry F. Longman Memorial Trophy as the league's Rookie of the Year. He also won the league championship, the Turner Cup, with the Vipers.
On March 9, 2006, Samsonov was traded from Boston to the Oilers for Marty Reasoner, Yan Stastny, and a second round pick in the 2006 NHL entry draft.
Preceded by: Bryan Berard Winner of the Calder Trophy 1998 Succeeded by: Chris Drury